How Big
Is Your Frying Pan?

Written By: Brent Allen

How Big Is Your Frying Pan?

Recently, we held our annual Med One National Sales Meeting. It was more like a family reunion where we gathered together and reminisced on the successes of the past year. We felt a spark of excitement as we planned our strategies for the upcoming year. We had a wonderful time together as we discussed future opportunities. We were all re-energized and motivated to return to our areas and go out and “make it happen.” I had the privilege of sharing a few thoughts and observations with our sales team. I would like to include a few of them in this article.

I once read a story about a young college student who was a little tight on funds. He went to an upscale neighborhood and began knocking on doors. He was looking for odd jobs where he could earn some extra money for school expenses. One of the home owners asked, “Would you be interested in painting my porch in back?” “I would love to do that,” replied the young student. They agreed upon a price and the home owner told him that he could find the paint in the garage. He assured the young man that there was plenty of paint to cover the entire porch. A few hours later, the young man knocked at the front door and said he had completed the job. He told the homeowner that there was plenty of paint…in fact, there was enough for a second coat. The homeowner was pleased and paid him for his work. As the young man was leaving, he turned to the homeowner and said, “Oh, by the way sir… that’s a Ferrari, not a Porsche.”

Do we have a clear and precise game plan? Are we on the right track? Do we know where we want to go, and what we need to do to get there? Hopefully we are not out painting Porsches when we should be painting porches. I recall the story where two contractors walked into a Home Depot store. They were greeted by a sales associate who asked, “May I help you find something?” “Yes,” replied one of the contractors. “We need to buy some 4 X 2’s.” With a perplexed look on his face, the associate asked, “Do you mean 2 X 4’s?” The two contractors looked at one another with a blank stare. One of them said, “We aren’t positive about that, so we’d better run outside and ask our boss who is waiting in the truck.” They returned a couple of minutes later and said, “Yes. We need 2 X 4’s.” The sales consultant then asked, “how long do you want them?” Again, the two contractors stared at one another. “We aren’t sure! We’ll need to go out and ask our boss.” They returned moments later and said, “We want them for a long time – we are going to build a house.”

Like the contractors, some people roam around without a set plan and very few answers. In terms of their future, they tend to be clueless. They seem to have no objectives. It’s not that they are lazy…they simply have uninspiring goals. We all need exciting goals to keep us focused and aimed where we want to go. Too often, we celebrate a finished product and not all the small successes we experience along the way. The small successes keep us motivated and moving forward. Goals clearly turn the invisible into the visible.

During our National Sales Meeting, I asked everyone a simple question – “How big is your frying pan?” The reactions to my question were mixed. I got plenty of blank stares. I saw a few heads nodding back and forth, and I also saw a few raised eyebrows. I then tried to clarify my question by relating the following story:

There was a woman who fished all morning and didn’t catch a thing. Her frustrations intensified as she watched a man in the boat next to her catch a fish on nearly every cast. To make matters worse, he would throw back the BIG ones, and keep the SMALL ones. Finally, she couldn’t stand it any longer. She called over to him and asked, “Why are you throwing the big ones back?” He simply responded by holding up a small frying pan.

Though it may seem silly, each of us is carrying around a frying pan. It may not be visible to others…but it is there. And, the size of our frying pan largely determines the size of our future. When an idea, a thought, or a dream comes our way, we simply hold it up to our frying pan. If the frying pan is too “small”, we immediately discard the thought or idea and move on. Perhaps the solution is to instead throw away our “small” frying pan and replace it with a “large” one. Then we will be prepared to chase our passions. Are we THINKING big enough? Are we DREAMING big enough? Do we have realistic GOALS? Do we have intense DETERMINATION? What if we throw the little fish back and keep the big ones? What a refreshing thought!

Are we THINKING big enough? Donald Trump once said, “As long as you’re going to be thinking anyway…THINK BIG! Someone else said, “You have to think big... to be big.”

An editor once told Louisa May Alcott, best known as the author of Little Women, that she was incapable of writing anything that would have popular appeal. Hmmm… I wonder if she was carrying around a “small” frying pan? If so, chances are she replaced it with a “large” one. She began thinking big...and the rest is history.

Are we DREAMING big enough? The biggest adventure you can take is to live the life of your dreams. I like what Christopher Reeve said about dreams. “So many of our dreams at first seem impossible, then they seem improbable, and then, when we summon the will, they soon become inevitable.”

Michael Jordan was cut from his High School basketball team. His coach told him that he didn’t have what it takes to be a basketball player. Hmmm...I wonder about Michael’s frying pan. Was it too “small?” I’ll bet he threw his small frying pan away and replaced it with a “large” frying pan. And then, he began to dream big… and the rest is history.

Do we have realistic GOALS? Yogi Berra once said, “If you don’t know where you are going, you might wind up someplace else.” Have you ever been “someplace else?” I have, and it is no fun.

Walt Disney was fired by his news editor and told that he had no good ideas. Hmmm… I wonder if Walt Disney was carrying around a “small” frying pan. I think it is safe to say that if he was, he replaced it with a “large” one and the rest is history.

Are we motivated with unquenchable DETERMINATION?

We can learn a powerful lesson from a young man named Glenn Cunningham. He was severely burned in a fire and was told that he probably wouldn’t live…but he survived. He was told that he would never walk again… but he did. And not only did he walk… he ran. In 1934, he ran the mile in four minutes and eight seconds… the world’s fastest indoor mile. He competed in the 1932 and 1936 Olympics. By the time he retired from competition, Glenn amassed a mountain of records and awards. Hmmm… What size frying pan was Glenn toting around? I think we know the answer to that question.

Do we have a clear and precise game plan? Are we on the right track? Do we know where we want to go, and what we need to do to get there?

Big Thinking! Big Dreaming! Big Goals! Intense Determination! These are key ingredients for success. We must embrace them if we want to achieve greatness. Several years ago, I read a book entitled “Good to Great” by Jim Collins. In his book he defined good as the enemy of great. I love his perspective. He said, “Good is the enemy of great. And that is one of the key reasons why we have so little that becomes great. We don't have great schools, principally because we have good schools. We don't have great government, principally because we have good government. Few people attain great lives, in large part because it is just so easy to settle for a good life.”

There are plenty of companies out there who are content to be good. Med One is not one of them. We want more. We have prided ourselves in being very unique. At Med One, we offer more flexibility in equipment acquisition solutions than any of our competitors. This creativity includes innovative subscription programs, Equity Rental offerings, and just about any other feasible solution that is needed to help our hospital customers acquire equipment. We continue to embrace our main philosophy – “At Med One, We Make Medical Equipment Available.” We accomplish this objective by doing whatever it takes. Our rental equipment is second to none. We go to great lengths to make certain it is clean, like new in appearance and functions properly. Our service is also second to none. We sincerely believe that our customers come first, and we will go above and beyond to prove our commitment to them.

Med One is striving toward greatness with a clear purpose and determination. Long ago, we threw away our “small” frying pan and replaced it with a “large” one. We are aggressively pursuing our passions and our potential. We thank both our employees and our customers for giving us the opportunity to serve the communities of this great country. We are confident that our future will be an incredible ride.

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